The Somerset County Democrats hold Virtual Convention for 2020 Endorsements
Democrats Endorse Jalloh for Surrogate, Singleterry and Drake for Freeholder; Presidential Race Goes to an Open Primary
This past weekend, Somerset County Democrats nominated attorney Tina Jalloh for Somerset County Surrogate, North Plainfield Councilman Doug Singleterry and former Hillsborough Councilman Paul Drake for Freeholder via an online voting platform. The annual vote was taken online because the regular nominating convention, originally planned for March 11th, was canceled out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Tina Jalloh, Doug Singleterry and Paul Drake will represent the citizens of Somerset County with honor, and when sworn in next year will represent a complete change in how our county is governed,” said Peg Schaffer, Somerset County Democratic Chair. “Canceling the in-person convention was the right choice for Somerset County. The remote convention worked well as an alternative and we believe that we have found the three best candidates to run in 2020."
The Somerset County Virtual Nominating Convention ran from March 13th to March 15th. The winning nominees all received more than 95 percent of the vote, and no other nominee reached five percent. The results for all offices who have gained the endorsement of the Somerset County Democrats and will appear on the Somerset County Regular Democratic Organization line in the June primary are as follows.
Virtual Nominating Convention Results:
- Douglas Singleterry
- Paul Drake
- Tina Jalloh
- Darcy Draeger
- Tom Malinowski
- Bonnie Watson Coleman
- Cory Booker
Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Tom Malinowski (CD-7) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (CD-12) have all been endorsed by the Convention to continue to represent their constituents in Washington D.C. The Somerset County Democratic Committee has opted to leave the Democratic presidential race as an open primary.
In the Special Election for New Jersey’s 25th Legislative District, the Bernardsville Democrats nominated Darcy Draeger to run for the Vacant Assembly seat but opted to wait until after the Morris County Convention to endorse a candidate for the Senate seat. Rupande Mehta won the Morris County endorsement in a run-off election on March 15th and will be placed on the Somerset County Regular Democratic Organization line for the primary.
Tina Jalloh is currently serving as the Franklin Township Prosecutor and is a partner at her law firm, Jalloh & Jalloh LLC, where she practices civil litigation, commercial and corporate transactions, wills and estate planning, as well as family law. Tina is the recipient of the 2019 Legal Services of New Jersey Equal Justice Award, for her Pro bono work in Surrogate Court and Family Court around the state of New Jersey. Jalloh lives in Franklin Township and is the Chairwoman of the Somerset County Democratic Committee Black Caucus.
Douglas Singleterry is serving his fourth term on the North Plainfield Borough Council where he has spearheaded initiatives dealing with economic development and sustainability. An attorney, he is a recipient of the Service to the Community Award presented by the New Jersey State Bar Young Lawyers Division. He is the co-author of a book on commercial transaction law and a peer-reviewed article on the international law of genocide.
Paul Drake is a lifelong resident of Somerset County, who lives in Hillsborough with his wife. He was elected to the Township Committee in Hillsborough and also served on the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment. Paul brings experience as a Professional Planner and an environmental expert and educator. He worked for the National Park Service, the NJDEP and the State Planning Commission and now works at PSE&G as a Public Affairs manager. He also teaches urban planning at Rutgers University in the evening.